Entertainment │ Escape

 Values - where are they now...

Elke Blasberg 

I was born before World War 2 broke out – so you will know that I am not in my twenties or thirties. I grew up in Namibia, formally known as South West Africa (SWA) and attended boarding school from a young age as the farm was too far for my parents to drive us to school every day.

As children, we were taught honesty, punctuality, sharing, cleanliness and tidiness. You never took things that did not belong to you and you owned up to your mistakes – these rules applied at home, and in the hostel.

You learned to eat what was given to you and appreciated the food that was put before you.

At the time, there was no electricity, therefore no films. There was no ice cream and most definitely no TV.  You mended and repaired your shoes and socks and still today, I battle to throw anything away yet society is slave to the concept of ‘if something does not work, throw it away and buy new’.

Later, when I started working, I saw colleagues taking stationary home from the office for their kids to use at school. To me this is stealing. To make endless private calls during office hours or surf the net is a definite no no for me – this is not what your company is paying you for.  

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To stay home because you have a hangover and claim sick leave? Come in late and blame the traffic (although less so now with fewer cars on the road in a post COVID environment)? These things are foreign to me and I marvel at how employees today get away with it?!

Loyalty and ethics are values which if applied today get laughed at.  Does that make me totally old fashioned? When I started working you never locked a car – it was not necessary (although I worked in Windhoek). Because it was so hot, you left your front and back door open at night for a draft to try cool the house down.  That is absolutely impossible these days – in almost any country or place.

  

Having recently turned 80-something, I yearn - in that respect, for the “ good old days”. We can’t turn back the clock, but it seems to me that with progress, values are often forgotten and deemed unimportant.

August

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August

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